HAWKSHEAD, midway between Coniston and Ambleside, wears its beauty well, its patchwork of cottages and cobbles backed by woods and fells and barely affected by modern intrusions. Huge car parks at the village edge take the strain, and when the crowds of day-trippers leave, Hawkshead regains its natural tranquillity. It’s a major stop on both the Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth trails (Potter’s house, Hill Top, is nearby, while William and his brother went to school here), and makes a handy base for days out in Grizedale Forest.

The best local walk is to lovely Tarn Hows, a body of water surrounded by spruce and pine and circled by paths and picnic spots. It’s two miles from Hawkshead on country lanes and paths; it takes about an hour to walk around the tarn.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

England features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best pub walks in Britain

The best pub walks in Britain

From its dramatic coastline to its upland mountains, from its stirring moorland to its bucolic inland shires, Britain’s wildly diverse landscapes make for som…

28 Mar 2018 • Daniel Neilson insert_drive_file Article
Taking the plunge: the joys of wild swimming in Britain

Taking the plunge: the joys of wild swimming in Britain

Travel writer and wild swimmer Joe Minihane travels from London to the Isle of Skye in search of one of Britain's most remote wild swimming spots. A pair of …

22 Mar 2018 • Joe Minihane local_activity Special feature
The many faces of Bristol: Britain's coolest city

The many faces of Bristol: Britain's coolest city

Bristol's enterprising spirit is one reason we named it the coolest city in Britain earlier this year. And this spirit is all down to the chefs and artists a…

21 Dec 2017 • Ruth-Ellen Davis local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right